Friday, April 12, 2013

Vandalized Gettysburg monument repaired

NPS photo
The Arm is back.

Seven years after it was vandalized, the 11th Massachusetts Infantry monument at Gettysburg National Military Park was whole again Thursday.

Once the sword-swinging granite arm was placed on top of the pedestal, the staff attached the sword and hand guard, the park said in a press release.

To replicate the vandalized pieces, National Park Service specialist Brian Griffin studied historic photos – including those by Willliam H. Tipton -- and fragments of the arm, fingers and sword.

“Brian … got a perspective of distances, lengths and sizes,” said Lucas Flickinger, supervisor of the monument preservation branch at the battlefield. “It was pretty painstaking. There were two or three weeks of scaling from the photos.”

Griffin spent about three months on the clay modeling and made a plaster cast that was sent to Granite Industries of Vermont in 2012, which made the final product.

The monument near Emmitsburg Road is a bit unusual.

Rather than depicting a full figure, the monument depicts an upraised arm, poised to bring a sword down.

“I think it is a very powerful symbol of resolve,” Flickinger told the Civil War Picket.

Additionally, the 4th New York Artillery (Smith’s Battery), and the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry were vandalized on the same day in February 2006. The park previously repaired them.

Despite a $30,000 reward for information, no arrests or convictions have been made. 

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